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South African Foreign Policy Review: Volume 1

Chris Landsberg, Jo-Ansie van Wyk

Publication Year: 2012

The richness of public and academic discourses on the past, present and future direction of South Africa's role in Africa and the world suggests that as a sub-discipline of politics, South African foreign policy is ready for a systematic and regular appraisal in the form of a series of publications that the Institute for Global Dialogue will call South African Foreign Policy Review. This is also because constant changes in international and domestic circumstances impinge on the management and analysis of South Africa's foreign policy. This, the first review provides an important opportunity to build on existing foreign policy works in order to take stock of the road already travelled in the past decade or so. This is crucial in laying some basis for anticipating the country's future role, and considering the opportunities and challenges, which future volumes of the review will consider. This volume provides a wide-ranging appraisal of the relationship between stated foreign policy goals and actual outputs and outcomes, an assessment of how foreign policy has actually been operationalized and implemented. To this end, common themes in South African foreign policy provide the framework for the first review. These include foreign policy decision-making; soft power dynamics in the foreign policy's strategic calculus; diplomatic tools used ñ economic diplomacy, peace diplomacy and paradiplomacy; South Africa's relations with key states in Africa, in the global south and in the global north; South Africa's approach to Africa multilateral, global multilateralism/governance. The review hopes to stimulate further discussion and thinking on the challenges confronted, and the future shape and direction of South Africa's foreign policy.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-3


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pp. 4-9

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pp. vii-viii

The Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) has taken a timely and invaluable initiative to produce a series of volumes on ‘The Review of South African Foreign policy’. The first volume largely deals with foreign policy since 1999. Since the establishment of the first democratic government in 1994, many experts and academics in South Africa and internationally have written about South Africa’s foreign policy. Unfortunately, most of these articles were based on wishful thinking about some ‘unique non-western foreign policy’ that was expected from a democratic South African government. Much of the criticism was based on the government’s...


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pp. ix-12

About the contributors

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pp. x-xiv

Abbreviations and acronyms

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pp. xv-xvi

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Towards a post-apartheid South Africanforeign policy review

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pp. 1-18

Foreign policy objectives constitute a fundamental aspect of the study of foreign policy analysis (FPA), contributing to a vision policy-makers have of influencing the behaviour of another state or of non-state actors.1 They may be concrete, or vague and abstract, with realists stressing the immediate military-security dimension while downplaying the economic one, and liberals emphasising longer-term economic goals and the welfare of society.2 For radicals, foreign policy is a tool for promoting ...

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CHAPTER 2. Opening the ‘black box’: South African foreign policy-making

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pp. 19-40

The question of who shapes a country’s foreign policy is often posed, and it is a particularly salient one in the South African context, as the country moved from isolation to integration on the world stage. This chapter considers the role of agency, or ‘who’ plays a key role in shaping South African foreign policy decision-making in the post-1994 period. Early analyses highlighted the central role of the president in giving shape and direction to the ‘new’ South Africa’s foreign policy. In particular, the role ...

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CHAPTER 3. The international relations of South African provinces and municipalities: An appraisal of federated diplomacy

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pp. 41-67

Since 1994, South Africa has seen dramatic growth in international engagements by provinces and municipalities. But there has been only a slight improvement in policy coordination and alignment, because neither authorities nor civil society have taken much interest in the subject. As a result, notwithstanding the growth in paradiplomacy (as these activities are known), and in spite of the evidence of their misalignment with foreign policy, the scholarly literature on international activities by South African ...

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CHAPTER 4. Soft power: The essence of South Africa's foreign policy

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pp. 68-83

The above statement would seem to indicate that the importance of soft power was recognised early on in the new democratic dispensation.2 According to Carlsnaes and Nel,3 the goodwill that accompanied South Africa’s re-entry into world affairs was regarded as an opportunity and was consciously used by subsequent administrations. The new leaders realised the benefits of positioning South Africa as a good global citizen – not only to advance global normative goals but also to advance South Africa’s national...

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CHAPTER 5. A review of South Africa’s peace diplomacy since 1994

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pp. 84-111

The focus of this chapter is on the identification of the broad challenges, opportunities and constraints that have confronted South Africa in the use of peace diplomacy as a diplomatic tool. A few assumptions require clarification at the outset. ‘Peace diplomacy’ is not an obvious or commonly used concept (despite the appearance of ‘peace’ and ‘diplomacy’ as separate themes in international relations textbooks). Conflct management seems to be the phrase in use today. Peace diplomacy can be seen ...

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CHAPTER 6. South Africa’s economic diplomacy in a changing global order

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pp. 112-138

This chapter reviews the performance of South Africa’s economic diplomacy as an instrument of the country’s foreign policy since the advent of democracy in April 1994. Economic diplomacy is about how states conduct their international economic relations, how they take decisions domestically, how they negotiate with each other internationally, and how these processes interact.1 In this sense, economic diplomacy is a policy. Conceptually, it is also possible to distinguish between ‘economic’ and ...

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CHAPTER 7. The evolving ‘doctrine’ of multilateralism in South Africa’s Africa policy

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pp. 139-152

South Africa has embraced multilateralism as an approach to solving the challenges confronting the international community. It took up a leading role in various multilateral forums, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), the Group of 77 and China (G77 China), the Commonwealth, and ...

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CHAPTER 8. South Africa's relations with African anchor states

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pp. 153-172

Following more than six decades of apartheid, during which the regime systematically destabilised independent African states, South Africa’s project since 1994 has been to reconstruct its terms of engagement with other countries on the continent. Since rejoining the international community of states, South Africa has made unequivocal statements about prioritising the stability and development of Africa in its international relations. In order to do this, South Africa has invested substantial financial and human resources ...

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CHAPTER 9. South Africa's foreign policy towards the global North

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pp. 173-197

South Africa’s relations with the global North (North America and Europe) underwent a fundamental redefinition and reorientation after the country’s regime change in 1994. For the first time in the country’s 350-year modern history, an authentic African democratic government took charge, introducing a comprehensive foreign policy shift from the global North to the global South. Whereas the former regime identified South Africa intellectually, ideologically and strategically as a Western...

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CHAPTER 10. South Africa and emerging powers

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pp. 198-214

In appraising South Africa’s foreign relations as they relate to the rise of emerging powers, this chapter sets out, first, to gain a conceptual handle on ‘emerging powers’, including South Africa’s identity within this category. Secondly, it assesses South Africa’s emerging power diplomacy – generally and in specific regard to differentiating between such alignments as the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) dialogue forum and the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) forum which South Africa ...

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CHAPTER 11. South Africa and East Asia: Missed opportunities

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pp. 215-238

Over the last three decades, the world has witnessed a major economic power shift towards East Asia, and the region is rapidly becoming the centre of global manufacturing and wealth creation. China has moved from being one of the poorest nations in the world to becoming second only to the United States. The Economist has argued that the ‘most momentous event’ in the last half of the twentieth century was the modernisation of East Asia. The spectacular economic growth of East Asia focusing first on ...

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CHAPTER 12. South Africa–North African relations: Revisiting the bridging of a continent

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pp. 239-256

Some eight years have made a radical difference in the context of rela-tions between South Africa and the North African Maghreb. In an earlier analysis of South Africa–North African relations, published in 2004, I showed that the regional backdrop in the north of the continent was a stable one characterised by long-established autocratic regimes.1 These ...

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CHAPTER 13. Chasing after shadows or strategic integration?: South Africa and global economic governance

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pp. 257-273

The purpose of this chapter is to review South Africa’s engagement in the global system of governance. The country’s foreign policy gained a distinctive shape around 2000. This assessment focuses at the normative character of the country’s approach to global governance and critiques it for its lack of sufficient grounding in domestic development priorities. It argues that, for the most part, South Africa has adopted an idealistic view of the world and pursued multilateralism for its own sake, a posture that ...

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CHAPTER 14. Reflections on South Africa’s post-apartheid foreign policy and preliminary comments on future foreign policy

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pp. 274-290

Post-apartheid South Africa’s reintegration into the international community resulted in the reorientation and development of the country’s foreign policy. In particular, the role of the African National Congress (ANC) in winning the country’s first ever democratic elections in 1994 as the new governing party, and thus a key foreign policy actor, has underpinned these developments. The focus on the ANC as a post-apartheid foreign policy actor is deliberate, owing to the party’s historical role in the country’s...

Back Cover

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pp. 291-310

E-ISBN-13: 9780798302586
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798302913

Page Count: 308
Publication Year: 2012